(Belding, Michigan) June 30, 2001 -- Julio Campos earned his first victory in Formula Dodge National Championship competition at challenging Grattan Raceway. Campos, who started on pole, led wire-to-wire in Round 5 action driving what appeared to...
(Belding, Michigan) June 30, 2001 -- Julio Campos earned his first victory in Formula Dodge National Championship competition at challenging Grattan Raceway. Campos, who started on pole, led wire-to-wire in Round 5 action driving what appeared to be a mistake-free race. The Brazilian, who will start from pole in tomorrow's Round 6, was menaced only slightly by A.J. Allmendinger, who earned his fourth consecutive podium with his result. Allmendinger was the only racer close enough to apply any pressure to the leader. He trailed Campos to the checkered flag by 1.282 sec. just ahead of Leonardo Maia who followed in third.
Campos believes his start from pole set the tone for the type of race he ran.
"I did a great start and was able to build a decent margin over the first few laps," said Campos. "I made very few mistakes and was able to keep distance because I knew Allmendinger was there."
Allmendinger, the series points leader, knows that pocketing points consistently is one way to win a championship.
"I'm very happy with second place. The race went really well. I was very happy to be so consistent on this track. I feel good but now it's time to focus on tomorrow's race [Round 6] and the possibility of collecting even more points"
Early on, Allmendinger caught Rookie Scott Poirier on the front straight, drafted him and executed a textbook pass heading into turn-1. Though Poirier would make two or three attempts to regain his spot, Allmendinger held his line and fought him off. Landon Yee, who currently holds the track record, advanced nicely from seventh, got as far forward as third but fell back to finish fifth. Yee and Leonardo Maia were engaged in some captivating moments, as Maia was a fixture in Yee's mirrors for most of the race. Maia finally popped on Yee on lap 18, and never yielded the position.
Wisconsin's Curt Andrews may have seen his fortunes change for the better at Grattan. The Midwesterner, who started from 18th, picked up six spots to finish in 12th, passing a bevy of racing talent in Tophie Stewart, Grant Maiman and Gerardo Bonilla. Ben Moore III also turned in a spirited performance, picking off three positions to finish in 11th. Despite the heat and tight competition, all cars finished running and on the lead lap.